The Los Angeles Board of Public Works will postpone making a recommendation on extending the life of the controversial Lopez Canyon Landfill until late next week at the earliest.
The delay will give city sanitation officials time to review what J.P. Ellman, the board's president, called "new information" that could have an impact on the city's decision to try to extend the life of the dump another five years.
The board could have made a recommendation on an extension of the dump's operating permit at its meeting Wednesday.
But, said Ellman, "We didn't take any action, and we're not going to until June 16. The Sanitation Bureau came up with a list of possible additional conditions they would recommend for the conditional use permit, if we decide ultimately to send it on to the Planning Department."
Ellman said the list of new conditions is just a part of the additional information the board will request from sanitation officials regarding a possible extension of the Lopez Canyon facility, the last operating city-owned dump.
The landfill's operating permit already was extended once by five years, and is scheduled to expire in February. But city sanitation officials have said that the dump--near Lake View Terrace--will have enough room to store another 3 million tons of garbage. They maintain that keeping the facility open until 2001 would be cheaper than other waste disposal alternatives.
Opponents of the landfill have bitterly protested the extension at public hearings and town meetings. Residents, environmentalists and elected officials have criticized the sanitation department for breaking what they called the city's promise to close the landfill in 1996.
Rob Zapple, a vocal landfill opponent and president of the Kagle Canyon Civic Assn., said he is pleased by the board's decision to postpone action
But he criticized some of the Sanitation Bureau's responses to issues raised by residents and others at Monday's hearing. "There are serious health and safety issues that have been raised and which are not being addressed," he said.
As an example, Zapple cited the number of truck trips to the landfill that would be allowed if the dump operates another five years. He said the landfill's current permit allows only 400 truck trips per day. In its list of new conditions submitted to the Board of Public Works, the bureau indicated it will seek permission for up to 650 truck trips per day.
"That's 1,300--round-trip--trucks running through residential streets every day, and that's too much," Zapple said. "It's a very serious concern; it's infuriating."
Bureau of Sanitation officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Ellman said the board also would use the extra time to review a recently released study conducted by a private environmental consulting company that questions the adequacy and completeness of the city's environmental impact report on the proposed extension.